What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Our Neighbourhood Plan is being produced by Bracknell Town Council and Bracknell residents. The purpose is to give our local community more control over future development by producing a planning document with legal status. If a Bracknell Neighbourhood Plan is produced the local community will have more control over the type, location and function of future development.
A Neighbourhood Plan sets out policies in relation to development and land use for a particular area. It is a statutory plan used for decision-making on planning applications. It must work in agreement with the Bracknell Forest Local Plan and national policies, but the Neighbourhood Plan can be used to specify design quality and conserve our heritage and local character in Bracknell.
A Neighbourhood Plan will allow our community to:
- Decide the types of new homes that are built
- Influence new infrastructure and leisure facilities to be provided
- Protect valuable community assets and the built and natural environment in Bracknell
The Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the local planning framework and forms the basis for determining planning applications in the area.
Why does it matter? The planning system helps decide what gets built, where and when. Planning is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people’s quality of life, and protecting the natural environment.
The local planning authority (locally this is Bracknell Forest Council) provides support and makes the necessary decisions at key stages of the development of the Neighbourhood Plan. For example, it will organise an independent examination and a neighbourhood referendum at the end of the process. The referendum ensures that the local community has the final say on whether a Neighbourhood Plan comes into force in their area.
Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan Timetable
|Stages for producing the Neighbourhood Plan||Approximate Timescale|
|1||Collecting the ideas and evidence that will inform the NP from the local community||Ongoing|
|2||Using this evidence to develop a vision & objectives for the Bracknell NP||October 2015|
|3||Generating options for Implementation||December 2015|
|4||Producing a Draft NP||February 2015|
|5||Community Consultation of the draft NP to obtain community feedback||Ongoing|
|6||Publication of the NP for Examination||June 2016|
|7||Independent examination of the NP that we have co-produced||December 2016|
|8||The Referendum in which the community has the final verdict over adoption of the NP||May 2017|
|9||Operating the completed and legal approved Neighbourhood Plan for Bracknell||June 2017|
Community Involvement in Bracknell Town Neighbourhood Plan
We want to get the entire community involved, to draw on the wide range of local knowledge and ideas to produce a plan that is right for Bracknell and its residents. Please feel free to communicate and participate as much as possible! Call us on 01344 420079 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our areas of interest have been divided into four main topics:
Environment, Community and Leisure Topic Group
The development of new houses and employment opportunities in Bracknell needs to be sustainable. We need to assess how effectively the existing services are meeting the needs of residents. Local services such as healthcare, education and leisure will needed for the new residents and workers that future development will bring. If we can identify potential needs now we can make provision to tackle them in our Neighbourhood Plan. Some of the main questions are:
- Which buildings and open spaces in Bracknell are most important to the community?
- How do you rate community services in Bracknell such as health and education?
- What is missing and what needs to be improved in Bracknell?
Housing Topic Group
It is important to have a clear strategy for housing in Bracknell. What development do we need? How will development impact upon the built and natural environment? This requires a balance between community needs and sustainability. Some of the main questions on Environment and Housing are:
- What type of homes should be provided?
- How should they be designed?
- What level of housing density do we want in Bracknell?
- How will new developments impact on our natural environment?
- Which needs to be protected?
Economy and Employment Topic Group
Which business sectors will be most likely to provide long-term and secure employment in Bracknell? These will need to be suitable and viable to provide employment for present and future Bracknell residents. How and where should more jobs be created in Bracknell? In which business sectors? Some of the main questions on Employment and Economy are:
- What type of employment opportunities should we encourage in Bracknell?
- What are the biggest barriers to growth and sustainability in Bracknell?
- What are the biggest challenges for local businesses in Bracknell and how can they be addressed?
Transport and Infrastructure Topic Group
Transport and infrastructure needs to be prepared for future development and population. Where and how can we improve it in a sustainable way? Some of the main questions on Transport and Infrastructure are:
- How prepared and suitable are the existing public transport links in Bracknell for future population growth and development?
- What needs to be improved as a priority and how?
- How and where should pedestrian routes be improved to encourage walking and cycling within Bracknell?
- How should the issues of traffic, congestion and parking be addressed?
- What is the quality of the existing infrastructure in Bracknell and what is missing?
How will the process work?
We propose that residents and others with a stake in the town will provide their ideas and participate through the four Topic Groups, including through a series of consultations. This will help the Topic Groups to produce a draft version Neighbourhood Plan using local evidence and ideas. Participation can range from making occasional suggestions to sustained help in the production of the plan. There is also a Bracknell Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, consisting of residents and councillors and officers of Bracknell Town Council, of Bracknell Forest Council and others who have relevant skills and time to offer.